Rush Limbaugh on Wednesday joined the conservative chorus in accusing President Barack Obama of covering up the Fast and Furious scandal, claiming that Obama’s use of executive privilege is proof that he’s “trying to protect himself.”
“Obama has never explained the details of what occurred to anybody – not the media, not investigators, not Congress,” Limbaugh said on his radio show. “He is the head of the executive branch, so he asserts executive privilege. Meanwhile, he pretends that he knew nothing, but he’s trying to protect himself.”
The conservative host later added, “This administration seems to be so incompetent, I don’t know how good they are at managing a cover-up … even when they got the news media working on their side.”
The administration invoked executive privilege in the Department of Justice’s refusal to hand over some documents to Congress in the ongoing investigation of a botched gun-running operation, hours before the House Oversight Committee was set to vote to hold Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt. The move prompted GOP lawmakers to accuse the administration of playing cover-up.
“The White House decision to invoke executive privilege implies that White House officials were either involved in the ‘Fast and Furious’ operation or the cover-up that followed,” House Speaker John Boehner’s spokesman Michael Steel said. “The administration has always insisted that wasn’t the case. Were they lying, or are they now bending the law to hide the truth?”
Limbaugh said on-air Wednesday that after operation Fast and Furious failed by allowing thousands of arms to cross the border and into the hands of Mexican cartels, the Obama administration became determined to keep details of the controversial program out of the public eye.
“They wanted the results of this brilliantly conceived … but it was not flawlessly executed. They botched the execution. Way too many people died,” he said, according to a transcript of his show. “And so now the Department of Justice, part of the executive branch, Eric Holder and Obama have claimed – well, Obama is the only one who can, has claimed executive privilege.”
Limbaugh brushed away the White House’s assertion that Justice Department has fully cooperated with investigators and that Republicans are playing “political theater” by voting to hold Holder in contempt.
“Don’t tell me that Obama is protecting every president here. Don’t tell me that he’s asserting executive privilege to protect the executive branch. He doesn’t care,” he said. “Don’t tell me that he’s asserting executive privilege here for all future presidents. Don’t tell me, cause he doesn’t care. They don’t want us to see what’s in these documents.”